The Benefits of Yoga

The Benefits of YogaYoga is a well-known and popular form of exercise which differs from traditional exercise programming.  Many understand Yoga to be a spiritual form of exercise where the participants need to be flexible and stand on one’s head.  Rather, Yoga is a gentle way to strengthen and tone the body while increasing the body’s range of motion.  In addition, Yoga offers many benefits to the body which cannot be obtained in a similar way from strenuous exercise.  Listed in this article are some reasons why Yoga should be a part of your exercise routine and how it affects your everyday life.

The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga for Improved Range of Motion

While there are varying forms of Yoga and Yoga is not considered a flexibility exercise, it can help increase overall range of motion in the body.  Studies have demonstrated a 35 percent increase in range of motion following an eight week Yoga program [1].  An increased range of motion in the joints can help maintain a high level of quality of life, which is especially important as we continue to age and live longer.

Yoga for Mental Well-Being

One important reason to exercise is to have an outlet in which to free the mind.  This is an important aspect following a tough day in the office or after a stressful exam.  Yoga is one of the best ways to improve mental well-being through regular meditation and breathing techniques [2].  Practicing deep breathing can also oxygenate the blood more efficiently, which improves muscle and brain functioning.  In addition, Yoga can help free the mind in order to create calmness in the mind, reduce overall anxiety, increase body awareness, and reduce chronic levels of stress.  Simply put, Yoga is a stress relief outlet which you ought to be practicing regularly.

Yoga for Building Muscle

It is not common to observe body builders attending regular Yoga classes, but it is proven that regular Yoga can build lean muscle in the body.  Generally not seen in more calming practices, muscle building in Yoga practice often involves a power version.  Power Yoga is considered one of the more difficult versions of Yoga and can help build lean muscle because the poses are help deeper and for much longer than traditional forms [3].  Traditional Yoga generally will hold a pose (referred in Yoga as asana) for about one to two slow, deep breaths.  In contrast, power Yoga practitioners will typically hold poses for about five slow, deep breaths, thus requiring more energy, focus, and strength.

Yoga for Weight Management

The regular practice of Yoga helps individuals to have a positive outlook on body image.  In other words, Yoga preaches healthy body appearance [4], which can result to slow, manageable, and sustainable weight loss.  Managing body weight through Yoga practice does not need to occur through the more strenuous forms, rather, even the lighter and gentler versions can induce small weight loss and incur less age-related weight gain.

Yoga for Posture

One very common side effect of aging is the slumped over look many obtain through slouching and poor posture.  As a result of poor posture, the spine suffers, height is reduced, and surgery may be necessary.  Yoga teaches proper posture through its standing and sitting asanas, which helps to develop strong core and spinal muscles.  While many may choose to work the abs and lower back muscles with crunches and back extensions in the gym, not much compares with sitting or standing in an upright pose for proper posture.  On element which helps with posture is the ability to remember to keep the body upright, which is why Yoga can be so beneficial.







About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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